The Georgia Possible program is helping high school students like Cedar Shoals High School 11th grader Jamar Bailey envision their futures.

On a recent visit to Athens Technical College, Bailey had an opportunity to visit the welding department and meet with faculty and staff about the program.

“Without Georgia Possible, I would not have learned as much about college,” Bailey said. “I have seen a path for the future laid out in front of me and through the program I can expand on what I want to do after high school.”

Created by the University of Georgia and the Clarke County School District, Georgia Possible began as an initiative from University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead. Launched in 2019, an inaugural class of 36 students graduated from the program in April 2022.

The current class of 30 students began in fall 2022. Students participate in the program for three years, starting as 10th graders. Georgia Possible is the result of a collaborative effort across the UGA campus that includes the Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, Office of Community Relations and Office of Institutional Diversity, along with the Clarke County School District.

Faculty at the UGA J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach, facilitate leadership skill development sessions. The students also explore postsecondary and career options available beyond high school graduation while meeting with local leaders.

“We help the students understand themselves better and give them tools to use that understanding in order to work more effectively with each other and succeed in the classroom,” said Lauren Healey, UGA Fanning Institute public service faculty. “Then beyond the classroom, the program exposes the students to college and career possibilities here in Athens and helps them learn to engage with their community.”

For Bailey, learning among a group of leaders has been a key part of the program.

“Everybody is working together as one collective mind and I am not the only one stepping forward,” he said. “I have learned how to work within a group of leaders to put forth ideas, take constructive feedback and respond to others’ ideas.”

Clarke Central High School 11th grader Kiareiyah Paschal has learned lessons in Georgia Possible to help her as she pursues her interest in political science.

“The program has shown me different ways to think about and solve problems that I can apply anywhere,” she said. “As a leader, it is important to always grow, and Georgia Possible is helping me broaden my leadership skills in many ways.”

Paschal also said she enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about her community during the session on local government. “The visit confirmed to me that I could follow it as a career path and made it feel attainable,” she said.

The program aligns with the goals of the Clarke County school district.

“Our mission is to create educational journeys that empower all students to fulfill their potential, with a goal of ensuring that they are also ready for what comes after graduation, whether that is going on to college, entering the workforce or joining the military,” said Robbie Hooker, Clarke County School District superintendent. “We are very fortunate to be able to partner with the University of Georgia through the Georgia Possible program in pursuit of that mission and goal as it works to expand our students’ understanding of the world beyond their classrooms.”

Writer: Charlie Bauder; 706-542-7039;
Contact: Lauren Healey; 706-542-7350;